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Cleaning the Plate for 8/4/10 - Spoilers

secretsix24-a.jpgMore good then bad this week with an actual perfect score mixed in. {nomultithumb}





Captain America #608captainamerica608.jpg
It seems we are heading into phase two of Brubaker's run on this title; for which I am grateful. There seemed to be a transitional period where I was starting to fear that my favorite Marvel title may not come out the other side with the same action, adventure, and human drama that I had fallen in love with when Ed took over the title. My fears have been laid to rest with this issue. Not only is the arc one of Ed's best since Steve Rogers "died" but the art team, led by Butch Guice, blew me away! These pictures send me straight back to my earliest memories of Captain America comics. I don't know if this is on purpose or not, but if there is a God he will find a way to keep penicler, inkers, and colorist's right where they are. Even if Ed's story of revenge with the son of Baron Zemo wasn't good (and trust me, it is), the art alone would make me want to read this more than once. I hope the new Beetle sticks around for a while; knowing Ed I would bet we haven't seen the last of her. I have no problem with the story itself, as I feel that young Baron Zemo is complex enough of a character that black and white is not an option here. I'm as giddy as a child here. The book is back, full throttle, all shield raised and here we go for round two. My Score: A


Brightest Day #7brightestday7.jpg
It starts off with Deadman eating a cheeseburger, but quickly switches gears as the White Ring directs Boston as well as Hawk and Dove to the White Lantern. By connecting the two pieces of the puzzle, more fall into place as the being that is the white light informs the recently returned what their purpose is... kind of. Since we're only seven issues in, the answers are as cryptic as the return of the dead, itself. Put in simple terms, there is a big bad guy on the horizon and the white avatar needs help to defeat it; by finding the new protector of Earth. I'm not quite sure why this thing doesn't know about the Justice League, Justice Society, All-Stars, Outsiders (though they are pretty lame ducks right now) or the other gazillion heroes hanging around, but it seems Earth needs one more. Now taking my tongue out of my cheek I still have to say that this is a fun read, this issue being much better than the last couple. Of course I love to read anything that has Reis' art work involved. My Score: B


Secret Six #24secretsix24.jpg
This issue is summed up in two words: TERRIFIC FUN! And I say that as someone who dislikes westerns on a whole, this Elseworldesque style issue is nothing but pure unadulterated fun. Taking these well defined characters, of which all are nothing more than sheer brilliance in the hands of Gail Simone and placing them in a different time period, is already the treat of the month in comics, for this reviewer. Add the moment when Bane breaks Slade Wilson's back and I was in Fanboy heaven. I don't need to say much else about this book. If you didn't read it, you lost out in a big way. If you did read it and didn't like it... you don't know comics! My Score: A+


Avengers Prime #2avengersprime2.jpg
This is an Avengers book that is written by Brian Michael Bendis. This book stars the Marvel Trinity of Steve Rogers, Tony Stark as Iron Man and Thor. This book takes place right after the Siege of Asgard. Did I mention that this book is written by Brian Michael Bendis? I did? Okay. Now here's the punch-line: This book is really, really good! Sure there's a bit of Bendis speak in here, but nothing like he does in the other Avengers book, and when he does use it, it's actually funny! This feels like a throwback when The Avengers were at their absolute best - you know, before Avengers Disassembled. While Tony is being tortured, Steve is getting himself some and Thor is discovering who the main villain of the piece seems to be: Hela! Of course that I figured out last issue, but hey, it's all good. Alan Davis is as strong as ever here with clear crisp lines that are accented beautifully by both Farmer and Rodriguez. I'm enjoying the daylights out of this mini-series. My Score: B+


Amazing Spider-Man #639
My Score: D-
If you're reading it, you know why. If you're not - you are blessed.
 

Superman: The Last Family of Krypton #1lastfamilyofkrypton1.jpg
Speaking of Elseworlds, here's a real live one written by Cary Bates and drawn by Renato Arlem. Written like a "What If?" this is the beginning of a world where Superman's entire family flees Krypton before the big bang (wait for it, the punch-line comes a few lines down) and relocates on Earth. Jor-El is a smart man and deftly avoids living in Arizona (not the joke I'm talking about, just wait for it). They are instant celebrities of course with their first appearance slightly reminiscent of Return of Planet of the Apes. It doesn't take Lara long to decide that Kal needs to live the life of a human child if they are going to live their lives on our planet, so she looks for a suitable family to drop her kid onto while she becomes the next L. Ron Hubbard. Lex is introduced and goes to work for Jor-El's company at only twelve years old, thus proving that Kryptonians used to have sweat shops which is why their god smote them. After a bit of mid-marriage crisis, Lara and Jor-El make up in a BIG way (nope, not yet, but here it comes (a pun inside the joke by the way)). Lara births twins at the Kent Farm with such force that the wall to the bedroom is completely destroyed. This just might be the universes second big bang (it wasn't really worth it, was it?). This was an okay beginning with all the pieces put in place rather well, if not a bit dull at time. Competent art and a really beautiful cover. My Score: C+


Young Allies #3youngallies3.jpg
I am so trying to enjoy this because it's all there; the art, the writing, the colors. Everything about this is solid, but I just can't get into it like I want. I still think the more I read it, the more I find the villains a lot more interesting than the heroes. Granted I've never gotten in the new Bucky, but I don't even think it's that. I just can't find myself wanting to know more about any of these heroes. And I actually feel guilty about it since I am a big fan of McKeever. Still, I'm not giving up.... yet. My Score: C


Captain America: Forever Allies #1cap-foreverallies1.jpg
There were a lot of war stories that involved Captain America and Bucky, including many Invaders adventures; but with the revival of all things Cap and Bucky, it's nice to see Roger Stern and party remind us of Bucky, Toro and the Young Allies. I always forget about this war time team until I'm reminded and this story looks to bring back a bit of that old glory set in the here and now. Solid art from a few artists make it an easy transition between the past and present, and Stern's story is solid. Sadly it's entertaining enough to make the new "Young Allies" book seem even more disjointed. This is a four part mini-series that I will be looking forward to reading from beginning to end. It might not knock your socks off, but if you're a fan of Cap and Bucky history, you'll really enjoy this. My Score: B


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